Recipe courtesy of Lauren Deshields

Florida Watermelon Salad with Straciatella Cheese, Shaved Radish and Lemon Oil

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes brining time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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6 red pearl onions

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar 

2 tablespoons sugar 

1/8 teaspoon dried coriander 

1 fresh thyme sprig 

2 Easter egg radishes or other small radishes 

1 small watermelon 

Salt and pepper

Lemon-infused olive oil 

8 ounces fresh stracciatella cheese 

1 bunch fresh basil 


  1. To pickle the pearl onions, first cut the onions in half and separate them by the onions' layers. Place in a medium heat-proof bowl.
  2. In a small saucepot simmer the rice wine vinegar, sugar, coriander and thyme over medium heat until slightly bubbling. Stir to incorporate. Once simmering, remove from heat and pour the mixture over the onion layers. Allow to sit out for about 1 hour and then chill until needed.
  3. Fill a small bowl with ice water and thinly shave the radishes and place directly in the ice water to keep them fresh until ready to serve.
  4. Cut the watermelon into bite-size pieces and then season with salt, pepper and lemon oil.
  5. Plate in 4 separate bowls. Next split the straciatella into 4 equal portions and neatly place on top of the watermelon in the center. Again season with salt, pepper and lemon oil.
  6. Neatly arrange the shaved radish, pickled pearl onion and basil on the plate so that each bite should include a radish slice, pickled pearl onion and basil.

Cook’s Note

This salad is also great with mango, peach, nectarine, apricot, melons, beets and heirloom tomatoes, depending on seasonal availability.

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